Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Overview Compare Minivan Bus To Stay

How to get from Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Santa Marta is one of the main tourist hubs on Colombia’s north coast. It is the door to Tayrona Park, one of the most beautiful and visited national parks in Colombia. Santa Marta is also a good jumping-off point to other popular destinations like Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Ciudad Perdida. The city is well known for having some of the most affordable scuba diving centres in South America.

Santa Marta and Barranquilla are 104 km (64 miles) away from each other.

There are no direct flights between the 2 cities, so the most popular options to get from Barranquilla to Santa Marta are a 3.5-hour bus ride or 2.5 hour minivan ride. Fares range between 18,000 COP ($3.80) and 60,000 COP ($12.50).

3 ways to get from Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan2.5 hours30,000 COP ($6)Check Minivan Tickets
Bus3.5 hours17,000 COP ($3.60)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi2.5 hours300,000 COP ($64)Book a Taxi

Another less popular option is travelling by taxi, which even though it’s comfortable, can be expensive. Expect to pay between 200,000 COP ($42.50)400,000 COP ($85) to Santa Marta, depending on if it’s during peak tourist season. There’s also the option of booking a private car through BookAway or alternatively, most hotels can arrange it for you as well.

A minivan acts as essentially a shared taxi, which is a popular option to travel the routes Cartagena-Barranquilla-Santa Marta and vice versa. Total costs start at 30,000 COP ($6). Their added value is their door to door service, meaning no extra cost or effort catching public transportation.

Buses are less frequent than minivans and to catch them you first need to get to the bus terminal. Bus rates start at 17,000 COP ($3.60). They are a good option, but only if you prefer the comfort and space of a bigger vehicle, or if you are travelling at night when minivans are not available.

When choosing between the minivan and the bus, we definitely recommend taking the minivan. It goes faster, and in terms of costs, it is about the same as going by bus after you add on the cost of taxis to get to and from bus terminals.

Itinerary from Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Barranquilla to Santa Marta by Minivan

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 30,000 COP ($6)45,000 COP ($9.50)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 30,000 COP ($6)45,000 COP ($9.50)

There are a number of companies offering a minivan service, but the most popular ones are Marsol, Caribe Vans, Pro tours and Coche express. They all have set departures every 2 hours, from 08:00 to 20:00.

You can check the availability and book with Marsol through BookAway, providing your pick-up and drop-off addresses. It’s best to book in advance, preferably the day before travelling and wait for their confirmation.

Expect to pay around 30,000 COP ($6) to 40,000 COP ($8.50). Prices can increase by around 25% during holiday seasons, though.

You will be picked up at the address you provided before beginning the 2.5 hours to your drop-off address is Barranquilla. You literally don’t have to worry about anything else!

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway

Barranquilla to Santa Marta by Bus

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 16,000 COP ($3.40)20,000 COP ($4.25)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 16,000 COP ($3.40)20,000 COP ($4.25)

Barranquilla city centre to bus terminal

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.25)
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 20,000 COP ($4.25)

Barranquilla bus terminal is in the southern district of Soledad, pretty close to the airport, however it is not the safest area. Therefore it is best to take a taxi for around 20,000 COP ($4.25) that will take around 30-minutes to get to the bus terminal.

It is also possible to take the metrobus using any line going towards Portal de Soledad. Get off at “Pacho Galan” station and walk around 15 minutes to the bus terminal. Tickets cost 2,400 COP ($0.50).

We don’t really recommend taking the metrobus to the bus terminal since the service is pretty poor and tends to be crowded. On top of this, the area of the bus terminal is not very safe for walking.

Step 2: Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 17,000 COP ($3.60)21,000 COP ($4.45)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 17,000 COP ($3.60)21,000 COP ($4.45)

There are two major bus companies covering this route: Expreso Brasilia and Copetran. Thankfully, the buses tend to have both AC and reclining seats.

Expreso Brasilia offers one departure a day and is probably the most convenient in terms of its schedule.

Copetran can be a bit cheaper and it offers 4 departures a day, but all of them are late at night, so arrival times are not very practical.

You can book your tickets online (showing them on your phone is not sufficient, you must print them off) or buy them directly from the bus terminal.

Bus schedule from Barranquilla to Santa Marta

Bus CompanySchedulesDurationCosts
Expreso Brasilia1 time a day, departing 10:003.5 hours21,000 COP ($4.45)
Check Bus Tickets
Copetran4 times departure from 01:00-04:00;
03:00-06:00; 21:45-00:45; 22:45-01:45
3 hours17,000 COP ($3.60)
Check Bus Tickets

Step 3: Santa Marta bus terminal to city centre

Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 8,000 COP ($1.70)
Duration: 20 minutes
Cost: 8,000 COP ($1.70)

The best way to get to Santa Marta city centre is by taxi. The fare should be around 8,000 COP ($1.70) to Santa Marta city centre, where most hotels are. If you are staying in the El Rodadero or Taganga areas, that fare will increase to around 25,000 COP ($5).

Our favourite places to stay in Santa Marta

Santa Marta is a great jumping-off point to many locations along the coast – Tayrona National Park, Palomino, Minca.

Here you’ll find budget-friendly options, as well as lots of luxury hotels that most of us can only dream about.

PRO:TIP: Santa Marta doesn’t showcase the best of what Colombia has to offer. We’d recommend staying for only 1 night on your way to your next destination.

Check out our recommendations located in the best areas of Santa Marta:

Casa Verano Beach Hotel – Treating Yourself

You can’t get much closer to the beach than at Casa Verano Beach Hotel. 10 steps and your feet will be covered by the golden sand. Here you can switch between the sea and the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees.

The rooms continue with the oasis feel. They’re the perfect place to retreat to at the end of the day. The staff will also help you to have the most peaceful and memorable stay possible.

  • Right next to the beach
  • Swimming pool
  • Adults only
  • Superb breakfast included

Double rooms costs $80+ per night

Check Latest Price

Casa de Leda – Mid Range

You’re missing out if you don’t stay at Casa de Leda. It’s interior offers a magical mixture of colonial style and modern decor. Here you’ll find a spa, rooftop terrace with a bar and an indoor pool.

You can’t get much better location-wise. You’ll be situated within Santa Marta’s historical centre, and you can enjoy panoramic views of the cathedral.

  • Best location
  • Stunning interior
  • Indoor pool and spa
  • Great breakfast included

Double rooms cost between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Akumarina Hotel – Budget Friendly

You won’t quite believe what you get for the price here. Not many budget-friendly places have a hot tub on the roof or a water feature in the centre of the hotel.

The rooms are large and clean, boasting splashes of aqua throughout the room. You can’t ask for a much better location either. It’s close to lots of amenities and the historic centre.

  • Rooftop hot tub and bar
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Great location
  • Excellent breakfast included

Double rooms start from $20 per night

Check Latest Price

More routes to Santa Marta

Medellin to Santa Marta

More routes from Barranquilla

Barranquilla to Tayrona National Park

Most popular routes in Colombia

Bogota to Cali

Bogota to Cartagena

Bogota to Medellin

Cartagena to Barranquilla

Medellin to Bogota

Medellin to Cartagena

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About the author(s)

Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.